Thursday, December 13, 2007

Boredom and Consciousness Part Three

A link to this video can be found at

A link to this video can be found at

In Boredom and Consciousness Part Two we talked about how boredom is very much a "conscious" part of our minds. If you are driving a car properly, you are performing a constant series of checks completely automatically: your conscious and subconscious minds are working as one. The brain is entirely capable of taking you from one side of the city to the other without your "narrator voice" interfering with what you're doing. But what if that narrator voice, instead, had been telling you how boring the drive was? You would be much more likely to have had an accident through being inattentive to all of the possible danger signs that our subconscious minds deal with constantly as we drive. Even something as simple and uncomplicated as falling asleep is almost impossible to do if you can't find a way to quiet that darn narrator voice of consciousness, as anyone who has tried to find sleep when they are upset or excited knows only too well.

Do you like to garden? Some people can't stand it because it's so boring. Other people love simple repetitive activities like these because it gives them peace... in other words, gardening can be a form of meditation. And meditation, of course, is actually not that far away from boredom: because meditation is an activity that encourages us to move through and beyond our line of time with an integrated mind, quieting that nagging narrator voice that says "this is boring" and moving into the state that Julian Jaynes tells us we used to always exist within.

Here's what I say in my book about meditation:

Meditation is a particularly interesting example of how people can use the power of the mind to change their health and circumstances. Researchers analyzing the EEGs of persons in a meditative state have seen that the parietal lobe, which processes incoming data to give a person the sense of their location in time and space, becomes much less active during meditation. If the parietal lobe would be what anchors us in the first-through-fourth dimension (time and space), then, could suppressing that part of the brain be what opens the person who is meditating up to the healing paths available to them in higher dimensions?

This same Scientific American "Mind" article on boredom we were discussing in part two also talks about the rising popularity of "mindfulness" training in education, medical, and office settings, which is a form of meditation that helps people to become more in tune with the wonder of their day-to-day lives. Elsewhere in the issue is a review of a book by Jeff Warren called "The Head Trip": Jeff describes consciousness as a wheel that can be broken into twelve states from highly alert to deeply asleep. I was interested to see that what started him down the path of writing this book was exactly what we're talking about here: he was working a potentially boring job as a tree planter, and became fascinated with how his perception of time seemed completely different while doing this job. While some people would look at a menial and repetitive job such as this and find their day agonizingly slow, he found that time passed by almost without him noticing. In other words, one person's boring is another person's meditative state, or even another person's novelty.

When people who have watched my 11 minute animation or read my book say that it's "mind-blowing", my fervent wish is that I have helped to renew and expand their sense of wonder about this amazing universe we live in. There are a great many self-help books and breathing exercises and visualization techniques out there that people can use to change their way of perceiving the world. Imagining the timeless fabric that our universe and all other universes spring from is another: that's why I describe this project on the back of the book as a "mind-expanding exercise that could change the way you view this incredible universe in which we live".

In part one of this entry we talked about the quantum physics idea that it's actually possible for consciousness to change the past: an idea that hadn't occurred to me, perhaps not surprisingly since I have spent so much time thinking instead about how this way of imagining reality expands out what our possibilities from this moment forward might be. But even if the idea had occurred to me first, I suspect I would have just dismissed it as being too "out there" even for me. However, with esteemed physicists like John Wheeler pointing the way, and the research of physicists such as Rosenblum, Kuttner, Krauss and Dent (all of whom are mentioned in that previous blog entry), this idea takes on interesting resonances when we think about meditation and the integrated bicameral mind as being the mental processes where we stop being bored, and start freeing our conscious minds from our linear 4D succession of frames we call "time".

This week's poll question is about 2012, where do you stand? Could those predictions of a coming global transition be tied to McKenna's Novelty Theory (also known as Timewave Zero), or Kurzweil's approaching Singularity, or the many other impending predictions being pointed to by prophecy and ancient wisdom? Our minds, as pattern recognizing machines, have ways of connecting across the information of time and space. Our bodies, built from chemical processes that obey the laws of entropy, can only move in one direction in time, but if it really is possible for consciousness to "tune" the universe, as John Wheeler suggested, then we would have proof that our consciousness can freely move in any direction, and at any "angle" we choose. Thinking of an accelerating shift, where everyone's consciousness tilts at an ever more extreme angle to our 3D space to eventually encompass all of time, allows us to imagine the potential for our world to enter a timeless mindset. The idea that this possibility appears to be approaching at an increasingly accelerated pace is also one of the ramifications of this that is getting more and more people excited around the world. Are you interested in what happens next? I know I am!

Enjoy the journey,

Rob Bryanton


Matthew | said...

Meditation is better than doing nothing!

Boredom occurs only where there are blocks to perceiving and allowing what is.

Loving Awareness : A Journey to Wholeness

Rob Bryanton said...

I agree completely, Matthew! I think meditation is a fascinating example of how people can find they have much more power over their trajectory along the "line of time" than they might previously have thought, and that is intimately tied to this way of imagining reality. The fact that meditation might appear to be boring to a casual observer is not the point here: rather, it's the amazing findings of the unusual EEGs of persons in a meditative state, as I talk about in this blog entry.

Thanks for writing, I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think I was being dismissive of meditation: quite the opposite, in fact!


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